If there is any area in Brighton and Hove that should be rock solid Labour, it is Moulsecoomb and Bevendean. It should be an area where a Tory should fear to show their faces. But it is a sign of where Labour now stands that there is a Tory councillor in the area. Perhaps more significant is the appeal of key Tories that sizeable numbers of working class people are happy to vote Conservative.
The two Tories who best represent the broad appeal of that party are Council Leader, Mary Mears, and Moulsecombe and Bevendean councillor Maria Caulfield. It was Maria Caulfield who snatched a seat in 2007 when she polled 984 votes. Labour’s Mo Marsh and Anne Meadows each polled 1,018 while the third Labour candidate, Liz Telcs came sixth with 848 having been beaten by the other 2 Tories.
Many Labour and Green supporters sighed with relief when Maria was not shortlisted for the Brighton Pavilion seat as she would have attracted a strong personal vote.
Next May the Tories must be confident about retaining Maria’s seat and, given the unimpressive Labour councillors, they will not have given up hope of winning all three seats.
The Greens realistically have little chance. So, to keep the Tories out, I would encourage, with little enthusiasm, a tactical vote for Labour.